Ten more arrests in Rotherham child sex abuse investigation
Ten men have been arrested as part of an “unprecedented” investigation into the abuse of four girls in Rotherham, alleged to have taken place around 20 years ago.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers working as part of Operation Stovewood made the series of arrests in various locations across South and West Yorkshire during “a significant week of operational activity”.
All those detained this week were aged between 35 and 53, and were arrested on suspicion of offences relating to the abuse of girls who would have been between aged between 11 and 16 at the time.
All were questioned and released while investigations continue.
It follows the arrest of five men in Rotherham and Leeds in a series of operations that took place between July 28 and 30 as part of the same investigation. A sixth person was detained last week.
The latest arrests mean that around 150 people have now been arrested as part of Operation Stovewood. Jail terms of almost 250 years have been handed down to the 20 people convicted so far.
Philip Marshall, senior investigating officer for Operation Stovewood, said: “This has been a significant week of operational activity and, working closely with local partners in Rotherham and across Yorkshire, we continue to focus on supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice as part of Operation Stovewood.
“While that work goes on it is important we still reach out and appeal to victims or witnesses to come forward.
“We’re interested in speaking to anyone who might have information to help investigations into child sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.”
The NCA said Operation Stovewood is “a unique and unprecedented investigation with hundreds of potential victims”.
It is the single largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual abuse in the UK.
Operation Stovewood began in 2014 when the NCA was asked by the chief constable of South Yorkshire Police to lead an independent investigation into allegations of abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
The request followed an independent review of the management of child sexual exploitation by agencies in South Yorkshire by Professor Alexis Jay.
Her initial report, published in August 2014, identified that at least 1,400 children had been sexually exploited in Rotherham and more than a third were previously known to services because of child protection and neglect.